On a freezing December morning, about ten other journalists and I headed down to an abandoned airport in Montreal, Canada. If it sounds a little freaky, it was. Our purpose there? To be transformed into brain-eating zombies for the day, and serve as extras in the sci-fi rom-com, Warm Bodies.
The movie is about a zombie who falls in love with a human, and how that love transforms him and the rest of the zombie world.
When we arrived at the airport, it was just as you would expect a zombie-infested den to be: cold, dark and eerily quiet. But once we headed back to the makeup and hair area, and were greeted by the film’s star Teresa Palmer and her adorable little dog, I knew we were in for a day of fun. Palmer plays one of the few humans in the movie, Julie, who falls in love with Nicholas Hoult's zombie, “R”.
The makeover started when I was assigned a denim jacket, skirt and ripped fishnet tights for my wardrobe. Rob Corddry, who plays the zombie “M,” dubbed me “80s party girl zombie.” Just what I had always hoped for as my first big-screen role!
After wardrobe, I headed over to hair, where I was given a ratted side ponytail covered in “mud,” to add to the 80s look. Zombies don’t have great style, mind you.
With some brown sludge (human brain remnants) trickling out of my blue lips and a ghost-white complexion I was almost finished. The final touches came when I was doused in dirt: Zombies don’t bathe frequently, as you can imagine.
Once I was decked out in my full zombie costume, it was time to interview the cast. Luckily, Rob and Nicholas looked as horrific as I did, so I fit right in. I chatted with the guys about their experiences filming, and they taught me how to do an authentic zombie walk. The full video interviews will be posting soon!
The highlight of the day, though, was when I finally got to take my place in front of the cameras. In the baggage-claim area of the abandoned airport, I was placed among about 100 other extras, ready for my close-up. The scene: Nicholas’ character, “R,” tries to escape from a group of “Bonies” (super scary, skeleton-like zombies). The walk he taught me earlier came in handy here.
I haven’t seen the final cut, so I don’t know if I made it in the film yet. Either way, it was a very exciting experience. I can’t wait to see the film and find out how this zombie love story plays out. Who knows? Maybe “R” will ditch the gorgeous Julie and fall for an 80s party girl. Unlikely, but a zombie can dream, right?
Be sure to catch Warm Bodies, in theaters Feb.1. And keep checking back to our Movies section for our full video interviews with Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and Rob Corddry.
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